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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Key Terms

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB30H3
Professor
Marc A Fournier

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Chapter 11 – The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today
Freud argued the meanings of our lives and the stories about our lives lie hidden in the
unconscious. He believed that human behaviour and experience are determined by forces over
which we have very little control and about which we are generally aware.
Oedipus complex: from the psychoanalytic standpoint, the most common pattern is revealed in
the fantasy lives of young children, wherein they may feel unconscious sexual feelings toward
one parent and highly aggressive even murderous, feelings toward another.
Oedipus complex is more than an unconscious problem facing preschoolers – fundamental story
for making sense of any life from a Freudian standpoint.
Castration anxiety: the fear that ones penis will be cut off, but more profoundly it may
symbolize the child’s fear that he will, like Oedipus lose his power. Thus, the boy harbors an
unconscious wish to kill the father, as Freud indeed discovered in the analysis of his own
unconscious life.
Penis envy: the young girls unconscious dilemma begins with a positive attraction toward the
mother, a mixture of object choice and identification. However, the fantasized mother figure
disappoints the girl when the daughter realizes that both she and the mother lack a penis, which
may symbolize a lack of power. The little girl may blame the mother for the perceived deficiency.
Freud hit upon a general narrative script that can be applied to certain lives, though by no
means all, and one whose dynamics may be found at almost any age. The Oedipus story is about
how characters struggle to live out their strong desires regarding love and power, how they are
often disappointed in this quest, how they must often give up what they want most in order to live
together in harmony, how an individual may feel both love and hatred toward same person, etc
universal life narrative themes.
Yukio Mishima – strived for masculine body. One interpretation of his gruesome suicide suggests
that he struggled throughout his life with a very complicated Oedipus complex, involving a
confusion of object choice and identification aimed both at men he loved and himself.
Object choice: Freud’s concept for the unconscious desire to ‘have’ the other (another person) in
a powerful and sensual way. In object choice, the person seeks to invest his or her libido, or
sexual energy in another.
Identification: Freuds concept for the unconscious desire to ‘be’ or be like the other person.
Freud suggests that object choice is generally preferred at the unconscious level and that
identification arises when object choice is thwarted, as is the case most commonly in the Oedipus
complex. We seek first to have the other but when we cannot we seek to be the other.
www.notesolution.com
Chodorow reinterpreted Oedipus complex from feminist standpoint. She focuses on the different
experiences of little girls and boys as they grow up in a male dominant but father absent family
where women mother.
The Case of Dora -
Freud believed that all neurotic symptoms have meaning. In content and form, neurotic
symptoms are symbolic manifestations of unconscious fears, desires, conflicts, and mysteries.
Free Association: standard procedure in psychoanalysis, involves the patients letting his or her
mind wander in response to a stimulus and reporting all thoughts (associations) aloud to the
therapist as they occur. Freud believed that unconscious currents rise to the surface in free
association and that the perceptive therapist can interpret the associations in order to make
psychological sense of the case.
Transference: a term used in psychoanalytic therapy to refer to the patients tendency to relate to
the therapist in a way that unconsciously repeats or plays out his or her relationships with other
personally important people.
Countertransference: a term used in psychoanalytic therapy to refer to the therapists tendency
to relate to the patient in a way that unconsciously repeats or plays out his or her own
relationships with personally important people.
Freud and Dora both engaged in these processes
For Freud, human behaviour is like a text – multiple meanings. There is no single complete
interpretation of anything, no single answer. Human behaviour has multiple meanings.
Overdetermination: the Freudian idea that all behaviour is caused by many different,
unconscious, and conflicting factors. What Dora remembers as the manifest content of her dream
is just the tip of a large, mostly submerged iceberg.
Dream analysis: the process of moving from the manifest to the latent content in dreams. The
movement involves the dreamers associating freely to the various dream elements. Psychoanalyst
listens carefully to spontaneous associations in order to find patterns and recurrent themes.
Dream work: the spontaneous and unconscious process of synthesizing, rather than analyzing a
dream.
Condensation: the dreamer compresses various latent elements into a single manifest image or
theme.
Displacement: involves a shift of emphasis in a dream from an important but potentially
threatening source to a trivial but safer one, as when one displaces a powerful emotion from its
intended object to a substitute.
Symbolism: through symbolism the dreamer conjures up concrete images and actions that
convey hidden but common meanings. i.e. Doras reticule and her mothers jewel case may
symbolize, at latent level, female genitals.
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 11 The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today Freud argued the meanings of our lives and the stories about our lives lie hidden in the unconscious. He believed that human behaviour and experience are determined by forces over which we have very little control and about which we are generally aware. Oedipus complex: from the psychoanalytic standpoint, the most common pattern is revealed in the fantasy lives of young children, wherein they may feel unconscious sexual feelings toward one parent and highly aggressive even murderous, feelings toward another. Oedipus complex is more than an unconscious problem facing preschoolers fundamental story for making sense of any life from a Freudian standpoint. Castration anxiety: the fear that ones penis will be cut off, but more profoundly it may symbolize the childs fear that he will, like Oedipus lose his power. Thus, the boy harbors an unconscious wish to kill the father, as Freud indeed discovered in the analysis of his own unconscious life. Penis envy: the young girls unconscious dilemma begins with a positive attraction toward the mother, a mixture of object choice and identification. However, the fantasized mother figure disappoints the girl when the daughter realizes that both she and the mother lack a penis, which may symbolize a lack of power. The little girl may blame the mother for the perceived deficiency. Freud hit upon a general narrative script that can be applied to certain lives, though by no means all, and one whose dynamics may be found at almost any age. The Oedipus story is about how characters struggle to live out their strong desires regarding love and power, how they are often disappointed in this quest, how they must often give up what they want most in order to live together in harmony, how an individual may feel both love and hatred toward same person, etc universal life narrative themes. Yukio Mishima strived for masculine body. One interpretation of his gruesome suicide suggests that he struggled throughout his life with a very complicated Oedipus complex, involving a confusion of object choice and identification aimed both at men he loved and himself. Object choice: Freuds concept for the unconscious desire to have the other (another person) in a powerful and sensual way. In object choice, the person seeks to invest his or her libido, or sexual energy in another. Identification: Freuds concept for the unconscious desire to be or be like the other person. Freud suggests that object choice is generally preferred at the unconscious level and that identification arises when object choice is thwarted, as is the case most commonly in the Oedipus complex. We seek first to have the other but when we cannot we seek to be the other. www.notesolution.com
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